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Community leaders look to diversify Bryan's tax base

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POSTED: October 2, 2013 12:05 p.m.
Jeff Whitten/

Coastal Electric Membership Cooperative facilitator Pat Merritt leads community leaders in a session aimed at identifying Bryan County's top issues during a retreat held last week at the Richmond Hill City Center.

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Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories on issues raised by the countywide planning retreat.

Of all the challenges and opportunities facing Bryan County, officials say none is more immediately pressing than finding a way to pay for government without saddling homeowners with more property taxes.
The need to diversify the county’s tax base is so important that it was voted the top issue by more than 60 leaders at last week’s Bryan County Communitywide Retreat at the Richmond Hill City Center, by a wide margin.
“The model for this county right now is not sustainable,” Bryan County Development Authority Chairman Steve Croy said at the retreat. “A $175,000 house is not an addition to our economy, it’s a drain.
“For the model we have now to be converted into a tax base that works, something is going to have to be changed.”
Finding a better model for mostly residential Bryan County is something members of the Bryan County Board of Commissioners know all too well.
Though the county’s millage rate is among the lowest in Georgia, a recent tax hike angered residents who filled meeting rooms during public hearings across the county.

Read the full story in the Oct. 2 issue of the Bryan County News. 

 

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